There comes a time in a lot of relationships when you miss the person you used to be. It doesn’t mean that you don’t love the person you’re currently with, and it doesn’t even mean that they don’t make you happy. And, anyway, the question you should be asking yourself isn’t if they make you happy but do you make you happy?
My good friend always tells me that relationships are always hard because of the compromise. “There’s always shit that you don’t want to do, or shit that you do want to do that you feel like you can’t because of the relationship,” she always tells me.
And it’s somewhat true: every relationship involves some degree of compromise, where you set aside certain pieces of yourself for the greater good of your relationship. But depending on which pieces of yourself you decide to stash away, it’s easy to feel annoyed, angry or even bitter that you felt like you had to hide that part of yourself in the first place.
That’s why you should be in a relationship with yourself — even when you’re already hot and heavy with someone else.
When you are in a relationship with yourself, you remember to do all the things you want to do, all those things that make you happy. You don’t put your wants, needs, and desires aside. You pursue them actively, right now.
Go on dates with yourself. Take yourself to the movies to see that movie you’ve always wanted to see, or treat yourself to that new brunch place you’ve heard so much about but that you haven’t had a chance to check out yet. When you go on dates with yourself, you remember to build a connection with your inner spirit and soul, and that alone will make you a much fuller person.
But don’t just go on dates with yourself or do the things you want to do — indulge yourself into your passions. If you love Italian culture, learn Italian and make that your hobby. If you want to be a DJ, figure out how to make that happen for yourself. The point is, feed your soul by following and developing your passions.
From time to time, step away and ask yourself if you are really happy where you are right now. Are you getting what you need from yourself? Is this how you imagined you life? Is there anything about it you want to change? Do you really see yourself working that same job over the net five years? Being in a relationship with yourself means always checking in with yourself, finding out what you need and pursuing that to the fullest.
Sometimes finding out what you need can be as simple as breaking your worst habits, those traits you have that get on your nerves but which you can’t seem to break. Or it can mean treating yourself the way a lover would — yes, even sexually! Make yourself feel as good as a lover might.
Masturbation is certainly about sexual release, but it’s also a way of learning to appreciate yourself. It’s so easy to give up and get angry when somebody doesn’t love us the way we need, or to zero in on our worst traits and habits without focusing on all the positive things about ourselves. Sometimes the easiest thing to do is to hate ourselves. And the hardest? To love ourselves.
When you are in a relationship with yourself, you should love yourself unconditionally because that’s the hardest kind of love to develop. It’s like Samantha said on Sex and the City, that philosophical beacon of relationships and sex:
I love you Richard but I love me more. I’ve been in a relationship with myself for 49 years and that’s the one I need to work on.
The most important relationship you will ever be in is the one with yourself. After nasty break ups, divorces and heartbreaks, you will always be the last one standing.